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How Important Is Socialization For Those With Memory Loss?

Instilling A Greater Sense Of Belonging

We know that socialization is important for all humans – and this becomes even more significant as we age. Research has proven that spending time with friends, neighbors and family members in our “golden years” can help boost seniors’ quality of life, physical health and mental health.

Seniors – particularly those with memory loss – may have fewer opportunities to socialize as they age. It may be that driving and/or getting out of the house has become more difficult, that their circle of friends has become smaller or their memory impairment interferes with participating in activities or events. Regardless of the reason, it’s common for older adults to socialize less and less over time – and it’s not necessarily beneficial to their well-being.

However, a high level of social support – which can be found at The Reserve at Fairhope – has been shown to have many benefits. In particular, engaging with other people in social situations seems to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in several ways. In fact, it may even slow the progress of these conditions. A promising study found that cognitive abilities declined 70 percent more slowly in individuals who had frequent social connections compared to those who had little social contact with others.

The Many Benefits Of Connecting With Others As We Age

The National Institute on Aging identifies a strong correlation between social interaction and the health and well-being of seniors who choose to be social. Seniors with good social support systems in place are generally known to experience reduced stress, lowered anxiety and depression, and decreased risk for certain physical health concerns. Socialization enhances brain health, and while the exact mechanism may not be completely understood, individuals with a social support system tend to retain more memories than peers who are more isolated.

On the other hand, feeling lonely or isolated can have a negative physical and emotional impact on older adults. Seniors who are chronically lonely often have elevated systolic blood pressure and are also at greater risk for depression. Through purposeful, daily social programming in memory care at The Reserve, your loved one can realize the many benefits of socialization – and stay as healthy and connected as possible in a supportive, family-like setting.

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